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Peru falls off late against Twin Lakes

FIZZLED: Peru’s DJ Fuller (11), seen earlier this season, started off hot against Twin Lakes Tuesday night, scoring 13 points of his game-high 22 points in the first quarter. The Tigers started the night with a 20-15 lead after a quarter of play but couldn’t sustain the lead and eventually fell 59-49 to the Indians.

BY TRENT SCOTT - tscott@perutribune.com

After waiting over a week to get back onto the court, Peru hosted Twin Lakes Tuesday night in boys' basketball action looking to build off a 20-point win against Whitko the last time the team played in the Tig-Arena.

A promising first quarter was blunted by a slow second and while the Tigers hung around for most of the fourth quarter, the Indians used a strong surge in the last two minutes to see off the hosts 59-49.

Peru head coach Eric Thompson said little details mattered Tuesday night and Twin Lakes was the team that made the most of them.

“We’re continuing to learn how to compete at a championship level for 32 minutes,” Thompson wrote. “Against a team of the caliber of Twin Lakes, a team that plays with an intensity to compete, desire to win and does it with five players working in cohesion a majority of the time, there cannot be many unforced mistakes on either side of the ball.”

DJ Fuller burst the nets in the opening quarter, knocking down and early three and two to give Peru a 5-2 lead.

Following a Michael Chandler three, Fuller struck twice more around a Treyden Curtis basket to hand the hosts a 14-6 advantage.

Five quick points out of a time out allowed Twin Lakes to close the gap to three before Fuller added another basket and capped off a 13-point opening quarter with the last two of the period to give the Tigers a 20-15 lead heading into the second quarter.

The Indians were quicker to get settled in the period, scoring the first six points with Ethan Luzadder giving the visitors a 21-20 lead.

Daunte Majors connected with two free throws and another basket to tie the game at 24-24 before Chandler gave Peru the lead on a three at 27-26.

Michaiah Galvin would score the final two baskets of the half, allowing Twin Lakes to go into the break holding a 30-27 lead.

Peru started the second half on the right foot as Josh Adejokun scored his only basket of the night while a Chandler three and Fuller basket gave the Tigers a 34-32 lead.

Curtis nosed the hosts back in front 35-34 after a Luzadder basket and Chandler would tie the game one final time to answer a Caden Harker three at 37-37.

Luzadder and Lewis Dellinger each scored before the end of the period as the Indians took a 41-37 advantage into the final period, extending it to six after a Brayden House basket.

Peru would close the gap down to four at 47-43 following a Fuller free throw and Majors basket but any chance of a comeback was dashed when Adejokun fouled Clayton Bridwell and was assessed a technical foul shortly thereafter.

Bridwell hit all four free throws to nearly double the Twin Lakes lead to 54-45 with only 1:20 to play.

The Indians would not let Peru mount any comeback attempt and put a 20-point loss of their own behind them from the previous night at West Lafayette.

Fuller finished the night with 22 points while Chandler and Majors had 11 points each.

The Tigers slide to .500 at 8-8 following the setback with a critical TRC game at Manchester Friday night and a potential sectional opponent in Western on Saturday.

Thompson said the group had the desire to continue improving and was looking forward to the team trying to force its way back into a suddenly open TRC race after Wabash fell to Tippecanoe Valley Tuesday night.

“We are continually working towards getting better but we just were not good enough for long enough last night,” Thompson noted. “It will come and we are very close.

“We’re excited to get back at it this weekend versus two more high quality teams on our schedule in Manchester and Western.”